BP Refinery located in Whiting, IN

Statement on the Recent BP Settlement

On May 17, 2023, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a settlement aimed at reducing hazardous air emissions at the BP Whiting Refinery. 

This is a monumental settlement and major victory for the health and vitality of the environment and the people who work, live and recreate in Northwest Indiana. Save the Dunes has long been engaged in efforts to hold BP accountable for their air and water permit violations. Thanks to increased agency oversight, we are seeing BP being held responsible for recent violations of the Clean Air Act. The size of the civil penalties, totaling $40 million dollars, and the required pollution control improvements, valued at $197 million dollars, are unprecedented and send a clear message to the refinery and other industries that illegal pollution will no longer be tolerated. 

This new Consent Decree with BP demonstrates the importance of agency oversight. BP’s Whiting refinery contains over 40 categories of pollution sources spread out over 1,400 acres of Lake Michigan shoreline. The public, including Save the Dunes, cannot possibly know all that goes on at the refinery, and must rely on agency oversight like the two inspections conducted by EPA and the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) that serve as the basis for the large penalties and significant emissions reductions obtained through this Consent Decree. While we are celebrating this victory today, Save the Dunes will continue to be ever vigilant and do its part to monitor and take action when needed.